Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Member Pays It Forward

Photo by Jeffrey D.Allred/Deseret News

In my initial research and post on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as a Missionary Organization I fell upon this story that I think needs shared. I have been very impressed with the writings of Shaun D. Stahle, a Church News reporter for his inspirational and motivational outlook on missionary work. He and his colleagues should be commended for their fine writing in the last few years.

In the 29 April 2008 Church News Shaun D. Stahle tells the story of Amram Musungu, one of two of African descent in the Tabernacle Choir and how Brother Musungu works with displaced African refugees in Salt Lake City. Brother Musungu and his wife Noelle have worked with literally dozens of African refugees many who have joined the Church as a result of their friendship and help. The Musungu's sacrifice time and money and everything to help fellow country men. Musungu is really one of the best examples I have read about in years. He ranks up there with Bookslinger for reaching out to others and giving their widow's mite in bringing souls to Christ.

My initial reaction was the Brethren should make Musungu a mission president or a Seventy but then I thought he is accomplishing more where he is as a general member living in Salt Lake City and he is only thirty years old. Plus he is singing his heart out as a member of the Tabernacle Choir.

Stahle writes:

"Musungu met Noelle Nkoy, who was born in Utah, but raised in her father's native Democratic Republic of Congo. Her family knew of the Church and had met, but felt no interest.

Amram and Noelle became friends. After a time, she asked to attend Church meetings. She began asking questions. Soon she asked Amram to baptize her.

Two years later, with the Salt Lake Temple in the background, he asked her to marry him. They were married in the temple on April 15, 2006.

From their earliest married days, they've been companions in their efforts.

"Sharing the gospel has always been easy for me," he said. "I have always loved missionary work. If I had to choose between eating and teaching, I'd choose teaching," he said.

Teaching fellow Africans now consumes much of their time. When he is not working at his employment or singing in the Tabernacle, they are assisting missionaries somewhere in the Salt Lake Valley most nights, usually with the support of other baptized members from Africa. Because of escalating interest, they teach in groups, often in meetinghouses where there is sufficient space.

"Hundreds are moving here from places like Burundi, DR Congo, Rwanda and Sierra Leone to escape the civil strife," he said.

They come not knowing the language, or the customs or even how to buy food at a grocery store, which food is foreign to them, he said.

Like so many others, the Bahati family listened to the gospel because of the love they felt from Brother and Sister Musungu. They were baptized a year ago and sealed in the Bountiful Utah Temple in December 2007.

Acquainted as he is with being forlorn and desperate, Amram Musungu knows even better the radiant countenance of his fellow Africans who are filled with the light and joys of the gospel."

I don't about you but it makes me want to move over to Salt Lake City and help out. Kudos to Stahle for bringing Musungus to our attention. I really suggest you get an online subscription if you are outside of Utah and read Stahle's biographies on missionary subjects they are very motivational.

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